Thursday, September 23, 2004

Break caste system by inter-marriage

Lessons on how to eradicate prejudices of caste system in your perspicuous editorial “Lessons in caste” (4-5 October) are sound in theory. But it is well-nigh impossible to carry them into effect. It is the caste Hindus who strongly oppose “lessons in inculcating awareness” and Dalit elevation by holding to the sacredness of caste order with divine belief.

Take Brahmins for instance. Can the teachers/ parents of the Brahmin caste ever be crusaders against caste conflicts? They are responsible for their innocent children who “imbibe these values and grow up bigoted”. How? Their boys who reach the age at 9, 11 or 13 are sacramented with holy threads.

Then these chaste boys bear a new identity of higher caste. Isn’t it a practice of caste-distinction? Thus seeds of the caste system are sown into these tender young minds and children of today become bigots of tomorrow. These young children would have acted as tools to fight casteism had they been given scope to study Dr BR Ambedkar and social reformers like Raja Rammohan, Vidyasagar, etc through their text-books at schools. Under the Directive Principles of State Education Policy, Life and Works of Dr Ambedkar may be brought into curricula at school and colleges to achieve the purpose. But it will not happen because all political and educational powers are under the control of caste Hindus who cherish the caste system. Conscious efforts are politically subdued in order that the youths do not try to raise any question against inequality and oppression.

Dr Ambedkar also advocates that inter-caste marriage is one of the best lessons to eliminate the baneful caste system. “The real remedy for breaking caste is inter-marriage. Nothing else will serve as the solvent of caste,” says Dr Ambedkar in his great speech “Annihilation of Caste”.

Source: The Statesman, September 23, 2004

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